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is a porpoise a mammal

The porpoises are small cetaceans of the family Phocoenidae; they are related to whales and dolphins. However, some have preferences between different kinds of fish, indicating some sort of attachment to taste. We focus on ways that plastic pollution affects marine animals such as entanglement and ingestion of plastics by dolphins, whales, sea turtles, sea birds and fish. [23] Most porpoises have slightly flattened eyeballs, enlarged pupils (which shrink as they surface to prevent damage), slightly flattened corneas and a tapetum lucidum; these adaptations allow for large amounts of light to pass through the eye and, therefore, they are able to form a very clear image of the surrounding area. Dr. Lindsay Porter is a prominent marine biologist whose work focuses on Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins, finless porpoise and other tropical marine mammals which are impacted by humans and their activities. Learn about the impact of underwater noise on marine animals, notably harbour porpoises. Source(s): ... Porpoises, along with whales and dolphins, are descendants of land-living mammals, most likely of the Artiodactyl order. People use the terms dolphins, porpoises, and whales to describe marine mammals belonging to the order Cetacea (from the Greek work ketos, “large sea creature”), and often use them interchangeably. On average, a platypus measures 15 to 24 inches long. It is black with bright white sides and underside. [17], The finless porpoise is known to also follow seasonal migrations. As of 1984, ninety-four in total had been in captivity in Japan, eleven in China, and at least two in Indonesia. The Dall porpoise (Phocoenoides dalli) is the largest porpoise and the only member of its genus. The Baiji Dolphinarium, was established in 1992 at the Institute of Hydrobiology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Wuhan which allowing the study of behavioral and biological factors affecting the finless porpoise, specifically breeding biology like seasonal changes in reproductive hormones and breeding behavior. The Vaquita (Phocoena sinus), literally “little cow” in Spanish, is a species of porpoise endemic to the northern end of the Gulf of California (Sea of Cortez, Vermilion Sea). Among the three rescues, one (father of world's first harbour porpoise born in captivity) lived for 20 years in captivity and another 15 years, while the third (mother of first born in captivity) was still alive in 2018 after 20 years. 3. Vaquitas are found only near the northern end of the Gulf of California. Even the 1975 Florida legislature, adopting the creature as the official saltwater mammal, left the issue open, designating the "porpoise, also commonly known as the dolphin," (Tursiops truncates. ", "Gulf of California Harbor Porpoise / Vaquita / Cochito (, "President of Mexico launches plan to save the vaquita". a sea animal that looks similar to a dolphin and breathes air (porpois, from porcopiscis, from porcus ( PORK) + piscis ). The next Marine Mammal Highlights blog is the Spectacled Porpoise – the strange, very unique porpoise that we know almost nothing about! The NMMF is a key partner in VaquitaCPR (Conservation, Protection, & Recovery), a consortium comprised of marine mammal scientists, veterinarians, and biologists from around the world that came together to attempt to save the vaquita porpoise from extinction. Unlike their dolphin counterparts, they are adapted for coastal shores, bays, and estuaries. Their skull has small eye orbits, small, blunt snouts, and eyes placed on the sides of the head. In … 5.3%. The baby porpoise is called a calf, just like whales and dolphins which they are closely related to. Up until 1984, none lived for more than 14 months. This makes sense in the case of aquatic or arboreal species (predators above look down on a dark dorsum, matching the depths or forest floor below, while predators below see the pale venter, against light streaming down from above). There are 75 species of dolphins, whales, and porpoises living in the ocean. porpoise: Any of various marine toothed whales of the genus Phocoena and related genera, characteristically having a blunt snout and a triangular dorsal fin. The other members of the genus are more restricted in distribution. [59] This effect, of course, only occurs in porpoises that dive to great depths, such as Dall's porpoise. a mammal that lives in the sea, swims in groups, and looks similar … In … Also, like all mammals, dolphins even have a tiny amount of hair, right around the blowhole, which is a little different than the scales of a fish. Little is known about reproductive behaviour. Unlike human teeth, which are composed mostly of enamel on the portion of the tooth outside of the gum, whale teeth have cementum outside the gum. porpoise definition: 1. a mammal that lives in the sea, swims in groups, and looks similar to a dolphin but has a…. [25] This milk contains high amounts of fat, which aids in the development of blubber; it contains so much fat that it has the consistency of toothpaste. [17] The captive history is best documented from Denmark where about 100 harbour porpoises have been kept, most in the 1960s and 1970s. Dr. Porter and her team in Hong Kong have been conducting an acoustic monitoring program, aimed at determining the density of individuals in Hong Kong. Porpoises range in size from the vaquita, at 1.4 metres (4 feet 7 inches) in length and 54 kilograms (119 pounds) in weight, to the Dall's porpoise, at 2.3 m (7 ft 7 in) and 220 kg (490 lb). POP for a Porpoise (Prevent Ocean Plastics) is an educational program presented by the National Marine Mammal Foundation (NMMF) which aims to educate kids about the plastic ocean pollution epidemic. Atlantic porpoises are thought to follow the seasonal migration of bait fish, like herring, and their diet varies between seasons. It was classified as a critically endangered species by the IUCN in 2013. [17] This breeding success, combined with the results with harbour porpoise in Denmark and the Netherlands, proved that porpoises can be successfully bred in captivity, and this could open up new conservation options. very social and playful, they will often “surf” in the bow (front) wake of boats And as with the other whales and dolphins, when these animals are born, they have a few little whiskers just around their snout. In the art of this and subsequent periods, porpoises are portrayed with a long snout (typical of dolphins) and a high-arched head. Captive Dall's porpoises often repeatedly ran into the walls of their enclosures, refused food, and exhibited skin sloughing. Porpoises are abundant and found in a multitude of environments, including rivers (finless porpoise), coastal and shelf waters (harbour porpoise, vaquita) and open ocean (Dall's porpoise and spectacled porpoise), covering all water temperatures from tropical (Sea of Cortez, vaquita) to polar (Greenland, harbour porpoise). Porpoise, (family Phocoenidae), specifically, any of seven species of toothed whales distinguishable from dolphins by their more compact build, generally smaller size (maximum length about 2 metres, or 6.6 feet), and curved blunt snout with spatulate rather than conical teeth. While they’re both highly intelligent, dolphins are typically more curious around humans than porpoises are. [24], Porpoises are fully aquatic creatures. Are dolphins and porpoises whales? [31][32] This is older than the typical age reached in the wild, which is 14 years or less. Whale Trackers – An online documentary series about whales, dolphins and porpoises. Porpoises are mammals. Other articles where Common porpoise is discussed: porpoise: …known of these is the harbour porpoise, Phocoena phocoena, a shy cetacean that generally avoids boats and rarely leaps above the water. They have a very well defined and triangular dorsal fin, allowing them to steer better in the water. A dissection of a beached Vaquita showed remains of squid and grunts. [36][37] They died in 2017 and 2016 respectively. The problem with the waves that attract is that the animal may be injured or even killed by being hit by the vessel or its propeller. And if you imagine yourself as a baby porpoise or a baby whale or a baby dolphin, perhaps it’s … A dissection of three Burmeister's porpoises shows that they consume shrimp and euphausiids (krill). Both species are considered vulnerable; however, the population of the Yangtze finless porpoise (N. asiaeorientalis asiaeorientalis), a subspecies of narrow-ridged finless porpoise found only in the Yangtze River, has declined significantly since 1984. [26] One of the first anatomical descriptions of the airways of the whales on the basis of a harbor porpoise dates from 1671 by John Ray. In order to try to prevent extinction, the Mexican government has created a nature reserve covering the upper part of the Gulf of California and the Colorado River delta. Porpoises are recognised from dolphins by their flattened, spade-shaped teeth distinct from the conical teeth of dolphins, and lack of a pronounced beak, although some dolphins (e.g. The tail and the dorsal fin is usually tipped withy whitish gray. The Inuit in the Arctic hunt harbour porpoises by shooting and drive hunt for Dall's porpoise still takes place in Japan. Females deliver a single calf after a gestation period lasting about a year. Although it is the world's most endangered marine cetacean, the vaquita continues to be caught in small-mesh gillnet fisheries throughout much of its range. A porpoise is a sea animal that looks like a large grey fish. In Japan, sightings of small pods of them herding sand lance onto shore are common year-round. Aristotle, however, could already see many physiological and anatomical similarities with the terrestrial vertebrates, such as blood (circulation), lungs, uterus and fin anatomy. Dall’s porpoises are compact, muscular porpoises that rival killer whales as the fastest marine mammals in Alaska waters. Larger threats to porpoises include extensive bycatch in gill nets, competition for food from fisheries, and marine pollution, in particular heavy metals and organochlorides. In recent decades the only place keeping the species in Denmark is the Fjord & Bælt Centre, where three rescues have been kept, along with their offspring. Porpoise definition is - any of a family (Phocoenidae) of small gregarious toothed whales; especially : a blunt-snouted usually dark gray whale (Phocoena phocoena) of the North Atlantic and North Pacific that typically ranges from 5 to 6 feet (1.5 to 1.8 meters) in length. Researchers recognize seven different species of these of animals, including the Harbor, Dall’s, Finless, Narrow-Ridged Finless, Spectacled, and Burmeister’s Porpoise, and the Vaquita. Porpoises, belonging to the Phocoenidae family, are smaller and stouter, with other anatomical differences.Though both animals are very intelligent, dolphins are deemed to be more social and live in larger, more stable groups. [54], The fishing market, historically has always had a porpoise bycatch. They may also eat benthic invertebrates. Aristotle, however, could already see many physiological and anatomical similarities with the terrestrial vertebrates, such as blood (circulation), lungs, uterus and fin anatomy. During the Middle Ages this animal was considered a royal delicacy. Teeth. Dall’s porpoise as fastest aquatic mammal is a species of porpoise found on the North Pacific. [17], Little is known about the diets of other species of porpoises. Many porpoises, mainly the vaquita, are subject to great mortality due to gillnetting. The platypus is a relatively small, semiaquatic mammal native to Australia. It is one of the smallest marine mammals. In Aristotle's time, the 4th century BCE, porpoises were regarded as fish due to their superficial similarity. [11][17], The porpoise ear has specific adaptations to the marine environment. It is usually seen in groups of 2 to 20 along the northern rim of the Pacific Ocean, where it eats squid and fish. While many threatened species decline rate slows after their classification, population decline rates of the porpoise are actually accelerating. [55], Porpoises are very sensitive to anthropogenic disturbances,[56] and are keystone species, which can indicate the overall health of the marine environment. While knowledge of sleep in wild cetaceans is limited, porpoises in captivity have been recorded to sleep with one side of their brain at a time, so that they may swim, breathe consciously, and avoid both predators and social contact during their period of rest. A porpoise doesn’t use its spade-shaped teeth to … The pilot whale, harbor porpoise, and bottlenosed dolphin are all pelagic animals, which forage at a variety of depths. These animals consistently failed to thrive. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. [27][28] It nevertheless referred to the porpoise as a fish, most likely not in the modern-day sense, where it refers to a zoolgical group, but the older reference as simply a creature of the sea (cf. The differences between porpoises and dolphins include having different types of teeth and the fact that the bones in the skulls of porpoises are symmetrical, while the bones of dolphin skulls are asymmetrical. [60], Additionally, civilian vessels produce sonar waves in order to measure the depth of the body of water in which they are. The Dall porpoise is black with a large white patch on each side of the body. Is it a porpoise, or is it a dolphin? The large bulge on top of the porpoises head is caused by the melon. As amended by the Conference of the Parties in 1985, 1988, 1991, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2002, 2005 and 2008", "HELCOM Red List of Baltic Sea species in danger of becoming extinct", "Memorandum of Understanding Concerning the Conservation of the Manatee and Small Cetaceans of Western Africa and Macaronesia", "The Yangtze Finless Porpoise: On an Accelerating Path to Extinction? / ˈpɔːr.pəs / uk. They are, however, more closely related to narwhals and belugas than to the true dolphins. [42], Small numbers of Dall's porpoises have been kept in captivity in both the United States and Japan, with the most recent being in the 1980s. At Mammal mamas "rescue" is a family matter. [40][44] The first and only caught for captivity were two females in 2017. The harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) is one of seven species of porpoise. Porpoises produce ultrasonic clicks, which are used for both navigation (echolocation) and social communication. Porpoises in each ocean basin are reproductively isolated. The harbor porpoise is found throughout the temperate and sub-polar coastal waters of the North Pacific, North Atlantic, and Black Sea. Some species log out of the water, which may allow then to travel faster, and sometimes they porpoise out of the water, meaning jump out of the water. China Photos/Getty Images. Harbor porpoises, a marine mammal resembling dolphins, but in the same family as whales, have made several appearances in Utqiaġvik recently. His detailed descriptions were assimilated by the Romans, but mixed with a more accurate knowledge of the dolphins, as mentioned by Pliny the Elderin his “Natural history”. To find a porpoise in the bathtub in your home represents negative outside influences. As well as this, the eyes of a porpoise are placed on the sides of its head, so their vision consists of two fields, rather than a binocular view like humans have. A porpoise looks like a fish, but is really a mammal. This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/animal/porpoise, porpoise - Children's Encyclopedia (Ages 8-11), porpoise - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up), International Union for Conservation of Nature. Also, like all mammals, dolphins even have a tiny amount of hair, right around the blowhole. Porpoises are in fact often confused with dolphins. They have also placed a temporary ban on fishing, with compensation to those affected, that may pose a threat to the vaquita.[72]. [62][63] In addition, the Harbour porpoise is covered by the Agreement on the Conservation of Small Cetaceans of the Baltic, North East Atlantic, Irish and North Seas (ASCOBANS), the Agreement on the Conservation of Cetaceans in the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and Contiguous Atlantic Area (ACCOBAMS) and the Memorandum of Understanding Concerning the Conservation of the Manatee and Small Cetaceans of Western Africa and Macaronesia. A cousin of the baiji dolphin, it is the only porpoise in the world that lives in freshwater and faces a very high risk of extinction in the wild. Any toothed whale in the family Phocoenidae (or, by some authorities, part of the dolphin family Delphinidae). A porpoise is a marine mammal. Find more ways to say porpoise, along with related words, antonyms and example phrases at Thesaurus.com, the world's most trusted free thesaurus. The oldest fossils are known from the shallow seas around the North Pacific, with animals spreading to the European coasts and Southern Hemisphere only much later, during the Pliocene. [19] Odontocetes send out high frequency clicks from an organ known as a melon. Today, the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 has enforced the use of safer fishing equipment to reduce bycatch. They are distinct from dolphins, although the word "porpoise" has been used to refer to any small dolphin, especially by … As of 1986, three establishments in Japan had bred them, and there had been five recorded births. Harbor porpoises, a marine mammal resembling dolphins, but in the same family as whales, have made several appearances in Utqiaġvik recently. The porpoise is a mammal. A porpoise in the Yangtze river, near Nanjing. “It may be too little too late, but what they are doing is unprecedented,” Todd Robeck, author of a recent study into the Yangtze porpoise, said of the effort to save the mammal. Your browser doesn't support HTML5 audio. [14] Porpoises, like other odontocetes, possess only one blowhole. The porpoise is a compactly built mammal with a blunt nose that belongs to the scientific order Cetacea, which includes whales and dolphins. Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription. As all cetaceans, they have a layer of fat, or blubber, under the skin to keep them warm in cold water. [56] Populations of harbor porpoises in the North and Baltic Seas are under increasing pressure from anthropogenic causes such as offshore construction, ship traffic, fishing, and military exercises. During the Miocene (23 to 5 Mya), mammals were fairly modern, meaning they seldom changed physiologically from the time. The vaquita, or cochito (P. sinus), is listed as a critically endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). After having been kept in captivity for 9 years, the first breeding happened in 2005. The finless porpoises (Neophocaena phocaenoides and N. asiaeorientalis) are small slow-moving inhabitants of coastal waters and rivers along the Indian Ocean and western Pacific Ocean. One of the main ways to tell the difference between a dolphin and a porpoise is from their teeth. There are seven extant species of porpoise, all among the smallest of the toothed whales. Today, the species is on the brink of extinction. First of all, the emitted sound level is reduced when the target range decreases. This melon consists of fat, and the skull of any such creature containing a melon will have a large depression. The Chinese Academy of Science's Wuhan Institute of Hydrobiology has been working with the World Wildlife Fund to ensure the future for this subspecies, and have placed five porpoises in another well-protected area, the He-wang-miao oxbow. It is known that populations in the mouth of the Indus River migrate to the sea from April through October to feed on the annual spawning of prawns. A porpoise in the Yangtze river, near Nanjing. This is a Vaquita. Dall's Porpoise is a stocky compact porpoise with small head. Marine mammals that make use of biosonar for orientation and communication are not only hindered by the extra noise, but may race to the surface in panic. Porpoise definition: A porpoise is a sea animal that looks like a large grey fish . Whales, dolphins, and porpoises all fall under the order cetacea.Within this order, there are two suborders, the Mysticeti, or baleen whales, and the odontoceti, or toothed whales, which includes dolphins and porpoises as well as sperm whales. The Vaquita is a small harbor porpoise native to a very small area in the extreme northern part of the Gulf of California, Mexico. Dolphins and porpoises are different. [65], As of 2014, only 505 Yangtze finless porpoises remained in the main section of the Yangtze, with an alarming population density in Ezhou and Zhenjiang. [3], Recently discovered hybrids between male harbour porpoises and female Dall's porpoises indicate the two species may actually be members of the same genus. [70] CIRVA has worked together with the CITES, the Endangered Species Act, and the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) to nurse the vaquita population back to a point at which they can sustain themselves. Porpoises, and other cetaceans, belong to the clade Cetartiodactyla with even-toed ungulates, and their closest living relatives are the hippopotamuses, having diverged from them about 40 million years ago. 98-0050185 (USA). Any of various marine toothed whales of the genus Phocoena and related genera, characteristically having a blunt snout and a triangular dorsal fin. A porpoise is a wonderful marine mammal, and to dream of seeing this aquatic mammal is a positive omen. Almost all species have female-biased sexual dimorphism, with the females being larger than the males,[10][11] although those physical differences are generally small; one exception is Dall's porpoise.[12][13]. All but two were incidental catches in fishing nets or strandings. Their skeletal anatomy allows them to be fast swimmers. Porpoises were, and still are, hunted by some countries by means of drive hunting. Their flippers, for example, contain four digits. It is a critically endangered species with only around 1,000 in the wild, among which 450 live in Poyang Lake. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. 2. Omissions? They have streamlined bodies and two limbs that are modified into flippers. 2. Porpoises are some of the fastest swimmers in the ocean, clocking in at 34 mph. Updates? Finless porpoise population decrease of 69.8% in just a 22-year span from 1976 to 2000. Cetaceans are entirely carnivorous, although members of the order Sirenia…, cetaceans (porpoises and dolphins) migrate in the same way, as indicated by population fluctuations within a particular area; but little is known about their distribution and migration.…. [32][33][34] Very few harbour porpoises have been born in captivity. True’s porpoise (P. dalli truei) is considered by some authorities to be a separate subspecies and is distinguished from the Dall porpoise by its absence of the striking white body patches. Males play no part in rearing calves. [51][52], Porpoises are highly affected by bycatch. Up until the 1980s, they were consistently short-lived. While population decline tracked from 1994 to 2008 has been pegged at a rate of 6.06% annually, from 2006 to 2012, the porpoise population decreased by more than half. In North America the name is sometimes applied to dolphins. Almost all Dall's porpoises introduced to aquaria died shortly after, typically within days. In rare cases, algae, such as Ulva lactuca, is consumed. The vaquita (Phocoena sinus), literally "little cow", is a species of porpoise endemic to the northern end of the Gulf of California (Sea of Cortez, Vermilion Sea). for example star-fish, cuttle-fish, jelly-fish and whale-fish). Three calves died moments after their birth, but two survived for several years. Porpoises, however, are usually smaller and chubbier than dolphins and possess a shorter, more rounded snout. Nothing is known about the diet of the spectacled porpoise. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Porpoise&oldid=991283801, Articles with unsourced statements from December 2019, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 29 November 2020, at 07:16. Porpoises feed largely on fish and squid, much like the rest of the odontocetes. / ˈpɔː.pəs /. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Flipper movement is continuous. And if you imagine yourself as a baby porpoise or a baby whale or a baby dolphin, perhaps it’s a very dark night, but you’re hungry. It is found only near Japan. As its name implies, it stays close to coastal areas or river estuaries, and as such, is the most familiar porpoise to whale watchers. The NMMF is a key partner in VaquitaCPR (Conservation, Protection, & Recovery), a consortium comprised of marine mammal scientists, veterinarians, and biologists from around the world that came together to attempt to save the vaquita porpoise from extinction. Black above and white below, finless porpoises have a rounded head. Florida State Saltwater Mammal Porpoise (Tursiops truncates) Adopted in 1975. [53] Harbour porpoises also suffer drowning by gillnetting, but on a less threatening scale due to their high population; their mortality rate per year increases a mere 5% due to this. Their escape is prevented by closing off the route to the ocean with other boats or nets. There have also been efforts to study porpoise biology to help specialize conservation through captivation breeding. Porpoises usually swim... | Meaning, pronunciation, translations and examples By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. The terms porpoise and dolphin are often used interchangeably. The harbour porpoise was one of the most accessible species for early cetologists, because it could be seen very close to land, inhabiting shallow coastal areas of Europe. NOW 50% OFF! A dominant hunting technique is drive hunting, where a pod of animals is driven together with boats and usually into a bay or onto a beach. Britannica Kids Holiday Bundle! It is the smallest known Cetacean (whale, dolphin, or porpoise) alive today, reaching lengths of only 4-5 feet (1.2-1.5 m) and weights of not much more than 100 pounds (45 kg). To catch a porpoise in the sea indicates a situation at work. Best known of these is the harbour porpoise, Phocoena phocoena, a shy cetacean that generally avoids boats and rarely leaps above the water. Instead of sound passing through the outer ear to the middle ear, porpoises receive sound through the throat, from which it passes through a low-impedance fat-filled cavity to the inner ear. [66] A majority of factors of this population decline are being driven by the massive growth in Chinese industry since 1990 which caused increased shipping and pollution and ultimately environmental degradation. This was a female that had beached herself onto Horseshoe Bay in 2008 and a male that had done the same in 2011. The porpoise is a marine mammal. The common name is derived from the Latin porcus (“hog” or “pig”) and piscinus (“fish”), as their flesh was said to taste somewhat like pork. These marine mammals have many things in common. Porpoises range in size from the 1.4 m (4 ft 7 in) and 54 kg (119 lb) Vaquita[8] to the 2.3 m (7 ft 7 in) and 220 kg (490 lb) Dall's porpoise. [45][46] Soon after the project was abandoned. [20], Porpoises are not thought to have a good sense of taste, as their taste buds are atrophied or missing altogether. Porpoise teeth are not a pointy like a dolphin, they are flat on top but are still sharp. In North America the name is sometimes applied to dolphins. Calves are born with only a thin layer of blubber, but rapidly gains a thick layer from the milk, which has a very high fat content. Porpoises are a group of fully aquatic marine mammals, similar in appearance to a dolphin, all of which are classified under the family Phocoenidae, parvorder Odontoceti (toothed whales). Researchers place them in their own family, the Phocoenidae family. Rare species such as True’s beaked whales and spotted dolphins are also seen along the shore. [17][29] Harbour porpoises have a very long captive history, with poorly documented attempts as early as the 15th century,[17] and better documented starting in the 1860s and 1870s in London Zoo, the now-closed Brighton Aquarium & Dolphinarium, and a zoo in Germany. Suddenly the smooth water broke, and a porpoise arch It is found throughout much of the Northern Hemisphere and is hunted in some regions. [67] Some of these can be seen in damming of the river as well as illegal fishing activity. Nearly half of these died within a month of diseases caught before they were captured or from damage sustained during capture. While there are many more species of dolphin out there — 32 species compared to the six known porpoise species — they both belong, like whales, to a group of marine mammals called Cetacea (from the Greek work ketos, “large sea creature”), the closest living relative of which are hippopotamuses. [71] CIRVA concluded in 2000 that between 39 and 84 individuals are killed each year by such gillnets. People use the terms dolphins, porpoises, and whales to describe marine mammals belonging to the order Cetacea (from the Greek work ketos, “large sea creature”), and often use them interchangeably. Averaging 150 cm (4.9 ft) (females) or 140 cm (4.6 ft) (males) in length, it is the smallest of all living cetaceans.Today, the species is on … Porpoises use echolocation as their primary sensory system. A porpoise is a cetacean, like whales and dolphins, and is definitely a mammal. [12], Porpoises eat a wide variety of creatures. The cetaceans diversified, and fossil evidence suggests porpoises and dolphins diverged from their last common ancestor around 15 Mya.

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